The Firefly Principles
A Manifesto for Generating Income and Impact in the New Economy

By: Rubina Cohen
January 2014
© Al...
The Firefly Principles: You are part of a movement.

You may or may not know this already, but you are in the midst of a m...
I wrote this manifesto in order to take this big concept and put into a format that makes it easy for
people to understand...
What is the New Economy?

The New Economy is a movement taking us away from the old and into the new. It’s an uprising. Yo...
Economist, Enrico Moretti wrote in his book, The New Geography of Jobs, that big businesses are the
principal drivers of s...
Small Business is BIG!
 The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.
 Small businesses ...
Your role in the New Economy.

I liken entrepreneurs in the new economy to fireflies, small yet significant, trailblazing,...
The old ways and why you need to stop doing them immediately.
Many are walking a dangerous line. I’ll explain. Though the ...
Change number 4: You don’t have a plan, no focus, and are reactive.
Not having a plan means you live with a lack of clarit...
The Brand New set of strategies to adopt now and focus on intently.

I've discovered simple tenets for igniting the entrep...
Fundamentally, It goes beyond having a great product or service, and you need a great product or
service, but it finally c...
might have a weekly or monthly newsletter, but the content is getting boring. You've employed the
same format for years no...
Are you ready?

Are you ready to partake in the Entrepreneurial Era and the movement of a lifetime? Are you ready to
make ...
The 4 Cs Checklist
Gauge where you stand.

Connection:
Connection happens with all communications, from website copy, soci...
Collaboration:
Collaborative thinking helps you to expand while competitive thinking limits you. In what ways are you
coll...
Creativity:
Without creativity you stay stagnant. Creativity is the kindling for action which is the fire. Creativity keep...
Consistency:
Consistency provides focus, discipline and what provides results. It also helps your target market to really ...
Action Planning Guide
Now that you have gone through the checklist and determined what areas you need to pay
attention, it...
4 Cs Priority List
Priority One: Deadline ________________________
_______________________________________________________...
It’s your time.

You are ready to start trailblazing it! The Entrepreneurial Era is an amazing time. The new economy
provi...
About Rubina Cohen

Rubina is the Founder and Principal of Firefly Strategies dedicated to helping businesses and
organiza...
More Support & Quicker Results.
Do you want a more in-depth assessment of your strengths in the 4 Cs? Do you need further ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

The Firefly Principles- A Manifesto for Generating Income and Impact in the New Economy

303 views

Published on

We are living in the Entrepreneurial Era and the new economy is upon us and the rules have changed. The Firefly Principles introduces the new strategies for success in the new economy and how continuing to do things the old way can lead to business failure. The 4 Cs are the only strategies you need to focus on this year. Are you ready to play big and trailblaze it in the new economy. You owe to yourself and everyone else to have huge impact on this planet. Here's the guide that will show you how. Plus, included a toolkit and guide for implementing the 4 Cs.

0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
303
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
6
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Firefly Principles- A Manifesto for Generating Income and Impact in the New Economy

  1. 1. The Firefly Principles A Manifesto for Generating Income and Impact in the New Economy By: Rubina Cohen January 2014 © All Rights Reserved 1
  2. 2. The Firefly Principles: You are part of a movement. You may or may not know this already, but you are in the midst of a movement. It's huge. In fact it is a movement that is reshaping our economy into a brand new economy where you have the opportunity to play a vital role. We are in what I call the Entrepreneurial Era and where you can choose to be play big and be a trailblazer in this important time in our lives. The New Economy movement is upon us. It's not just those of us that are starting businesses that are participants in this era. No. You can and are part of the movement whether you are a nonprofit leader or an employee in a small business, you just have to tap into and hone the entrepreneurial mindset. When you do, the sky's the limit. My passion and mission is to help you succeed, to generate income and impact as an entrepreneur in the New Econom. I want to help you tap into that trailblazing potential. We do this by acknowledging and operating under The Firefly Principles which are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The New Economy movement is upon us and we are living in an amazing time You and I play a vital role in this movement and we are obligated to play big and succeed We are the leaders and the trailblazers lighting a path for others to follow to success We need to stop doing things the old way immediately We need to adopt the NEW strategies for success 2
  3. 3. I wrote this manifesto in order to take this big concept and put into a format that makes it easy for people to understand, learn, and apply the things that they need to do to be successful. You will learn what the New Economy is , what your role is in the New Economy, and what you need to start doing in order not only generate income but lasting impact. Welcome trailblazer! 3
  4. 4. What is the New Economy? The New Economy is a movement taking us away from the old and into the new. It’s an uprising. You’ve most likely sensed this upwelling since 2009 or so. So many failures in our economic system have led us here and rightfully so. Due to this unraveling, there emerged two distinctive characteristics that define the New Economy. First, there is a symbiotic relationship that has been formed between big business and small businesses. Where, not so long ago, big businesses made it hard for small ones to survive, now big businesses and small business are relying on each other for survival and growth. I explain this further with examples a little later. The second characteristic that defines the New Economy is the growing importance of service and impact and not just focusing on reach or to how many you can sell and how much revenue one can generate. New businesses enter the market with missions now, and big businesses are forming nonprofit arms. Nonprofits are creating social enterprises. I’m reminded of businesses and organizations like TOMS, Burt’s Bees, and Charity Water, to name a few. But even Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Walmart, all see the greater benefit of working towards generating significant and social impact in the world. Some are doing it better than others, but things are shifting this way for sure. 4
  5. 5. Economist, Enrico Moretti wrote in his book, The New Geography of Jobs, that big businesses are the principal drivers of small business job creation. An example Moretti gives is on Facebook. Facebook has 1500+ employees but helped in the creation of approximately 53,000 additional jobs created for Facebook apps and the 130,000 more jobs in related business. John Tamny, Forbes staff member, echoed this point in his recent article titled, “Sorry Class Warriors, Small Businesses Are Not the Backbone of the U.S. Economy.” But the examples Tamny uses, including the one on Facebook from Moretti’s book, actually suggest that small businesses ARE indeed the backbone of the economy. Let’s go back to the Facebook example. Though Facebook might be the driver for the 183,000 additional jobs it helped spawn, Facebook would also NOT be the entity it is today without those jobs. IF those jobs had not been created, Facebook would not exist in its current form. Therefore, Facebook relies on these small businesses to support them and help them grow. Another perfect example of big businesses needing the small business to survive is that of Google. This behemoth of an organization has innovation as a key component of its corporate culture. Do you know how Google has been innovating over the past several years? By acquiring other small businesses that are on the cutting edge, innovating, and developing brand new technologies and services. This is one of Google’s business growth strategies. Without the startup of innovative small businesses Google’s innovations might look quite different and so would the company itself. Many other large corporations are following suit making their main strategy for growth to acquire other smaller innovative companies. There are plenty of other examples out there that make it hard to argue that small businesses are centers for creativity, innovation, growth, and community, which are all the characteristics that are absolutely necessary to thrive in the New Economy. Big businesses are catching on and so are consumers. The buy local campaign has risen dramatically in the past 4-5 years for this very reason. Consumers know they can get a much more personalized, unique and tailored experience when they buy from small businesses. Further, buying small and local helps the local economy which is another important feature of the New Economy and this is the huge advantage that small businesses have in the New Economy. Customers deserve to be treated as individuals, and small businesses are the perfect entities to deliver this type of experience. Finally, I want to share with you statistics from the Small Business Administration website SBA.gov. 5
  6. 6. Small Business is BIG!  The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.  Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s.  The 600,000 plus franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people.  The small business sector in America occupies 30-50% of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet. “Furthermore, the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been ‘downsizing’, the rate of small business "start-ups" has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.”  The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49% since 1982.  Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.  [http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-trends] I see this as a movement, a movement towards the small playing big. Our economy is now demanding it. If you are already an entrepreneur or have plans to become one soon, then you are a part of this movement and you owe it to yourself and to others to play big. The question now is - are you willing and ready? Do you know how? 6
  7. 7. Your role in the New Economy. I liken entrepreneurs in the new economy to fireflies, small yet significant, trailblazing, and building community. When they all come together, it’s a dramatic, beautiful, and awe inspiring result. Entrepreneurs in the New Economy will play the role of leaders, trailblazers that inspire and generate great impact in the world. Therefore it is vital that we succeed, to create the work we are meant to create, and to lead others to do their work as entrepreneurs. On the following pages I will share with you exactly how you need to go about taking on this important role. Again, a big part of the role is to succeed and that is how you light the path as a trailblazer and lead others. In order to succeed, you must stop doing things the old way. 7
  8. 8. The old ways and why you need to stop doing them immediately. Many are walking a dangerous line. I’ll explain. Though the rules have changed, and many can sense this, and may even know logically that they need to change, they just haven’t changed the old way of doing things. This is primarily due to two things. 1) You don’t know what it is exactly that you need to change and 2) you haven’t broken your habits of operating the old way which also means you know what you need to change, but haven’t figured out how to implement the change. I do believe that knowing is a big part of changing. So, let’s start with learning what it is we need to change immediately. I say immediately because continuing to operate in this way will absolutely lead to failure. A business and organization can no longer sustain themselves this way. Change number 1: Communicating strictly about the benefits of your product or service. So in the old you are guided to communicate the benefits if your product or service. You are taught that the only way to sell what you offer is to first understand that you solve a problem for your target market. That’s true. Next, you write down all the features of your product and service. Finally, you determine the benefits of each feature and there you have it, a big beautiful list of benefits. The old way touts that you go out and start telling your target market the benefits and in no time you will have a loyal customer base clawing to get at your product or service. In the New Economy, this no longer works. And before I tell you what does, I’m going to go through the other 3 things you need to change immediately. Change number 2: Size up your competition and push them out. The old way says, run a competitive analysis. Look at your competition’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or what is called a SWOT analysis. Analyze the SWOT and compare it to your own SWOT analysis. Based on this information, you would then devise a plan to beat out the competition. That is the competitive strategy and in the truest sense of the word, that is what strategy is all about. Strategy is derived from WAR strategy, the approach you will take to annihilate your competition, your enemy. This mentality sets up HUGE limitations and it’s setting you up for failure. More on this coming up. Let’s move on to change number 3. Change number 3: Sticking with how you’ve always done things. “Do what’s working” is what we hear often. Yes, of course. But, would you know if it’s not working? Are paying attention to what is and what isn’t working? Or, are you in a comfortable place, closed minded and stagnant? Having a closed mind to things changing stifles you, it keeps you in the “comfortable” place. No innovation occurs at comfortable. Your customers will definitely move on and potential customers will bypass you. Success means getting out of your comfort zone and you can’t do that if you stick with how you’ve always done things. 8
  9. 9. Change number 4: You don’t have a plan, no focus, and are reactive. Not having a plan means you live with a lack of clarity. Lack of clarity means you can’t focus. When you don’t have focus, you react to everything. You react when customers aren’t calling, you react when cash flow starts getting tight, you react when the competition gets PR and you don’t. You react and eventually the reaction will be too late. Also ,the lack of a plan leaves things chaotic and flighty...your customers can and will read this. The lack of plan usually leads to you losing credibility and lacking authority. Your chance to capture the trust of your target market gets harder and harder. How do we counteract these 4 practices of business and organizational death? Read on. 9
  10. 10. The Brand New set of strategies to adopt now and focus on intently. I've discovered simple tenets for igniting the entrepreneurial mind-set and succeeding in the Entrepreneurial Era. Are you ready to step fully into that movement? Then read on… Becoming a part of this entrepreneurial movement means really embodying the entrepreneurial mindset. In order to jump into this mindset with two feet, the very first thing you must do is commit. Commit to yourself today that you are going to start calling on the entrepreneur within you, within your business, and within your organization. Decide this then share with others that will be impacted by this commitment. Share that you are ready to embody this shift and let it permeate your place of work and/or home. Chances are, you are going to have many people join you, because they have been WAITING for a change. Since YOU are the trailblazer and the leader, it has to start with you. Next, there are four strategies to focus on intensely in the next year. These 4 Cs are the new strategies for generating both income and impact in the New Economy. 1. Focus on (C)onnection. Here is the heart of entrepreneurship. People often label entrepreneurs as loners. You might visualize the solopreneur hacking away at their laptop in their lonely home office. Well, that can't be further away from the truth in this day and age. That type of entrepreneurship is dead. That's why coffee shops are capitalizing, because entrepreneurs crave connection...PEOPLE crave connection. That's why more and more co-working facilities are cropping up across the nation. In order to succeed in the new economy, you HAVE to build connections. Connections are what help you get access to and gain the right customers. You must build connections in order to build partnerships and connections are what help you get referrals, and so forth. I could go on as to why building connections are so important, but you get the idea. 10
  11. 11. Fundamentally, It goes beyond having a great product or service, and you need a great product or service, but it finally comes down to being able to connect with people so that they choose your service, they choose your product but mostly...they choose YOU. Others can solve their problem too...but they want YOU to solve their problem because they connect with you. 2. Focus on (C)ollaboration. Two minds can come up with a whole heck of a lot more ideas than one and not just double the ideas...the difference is exponential. I'll give an example. Let's say you brainstorm and come up with 50 new ways to market your business or spread your message. When you bring in another person into that process, you don't get just another 50 more...you get way more. Why? Because their ideas help spark more ideas. So instead of having 50 ideas each, the both of you could generate 100 ideas each because each idea can spark new ideas and help you generate several more. Amazing right? Why wouldn't you take advantage of that? Collaboration also gives you access to a larger community you might not normally have access to. Collaboration opens pathways and opportunities that might not have been available to you otherwise. This is a KEY component to entrepreneurship in the new economy. Find ways to collaborate ASAP. 3. Focus on (C)reativity. Honing your creativity skills is what is going to help keep you performing, it helps to keep you motivated and aids in taking consistent action. What is going to drive you day to day? Getting creative ignites that drive. Creativity is kindling for taking action. Get creative with your services, get creative with your communications, get creative with your time and how you spend it, get creative with your programs and how you deliver it. Flexibility and change, which are characteristics of the new economy, become much more approachable and easy to navigate when you are in creativity mode. We can all get in a funk, feel stuck, where things get mucked up and unclear. Engage in creativity exercises to get out of it, instantly! Build creativity into your daily or weekly business operations and watch yourself become an action taking machine. Because without action, there's just a dream. And when you are dreaming, you aren't participating. When you aren’t participating, you're missing the boat to engage in the movement of our lifetime. 4. Focus on (C)onsistency. Consistency comes from having a plan. Consistency means steadfast adherence...or what I like to call, "stickwithitness." So, while one is being creative and coming up with awesome ideas, it doesn't mean running with every single idea, or abandoning one project so that you can run with a new one. In many respects, creativity is there to help you think differently and get you out of stagnation. Consistency, then, is to stick with what you started and apply that creativity for disciplined action. Apply those new ideas to an area where it's necessary to be consistent but things start getting stagnant. For instance, one area where you want to be consistent is in communications with your community, your clients, etc. You 11
  12. 12. might have a weekly or monthly newsletter, but the content is getting boring. You've employed the same format for years now. You aren't getting any new subscribers. In fact people have been slowly unsubscribing the past few months. Here's an area where you can get creative yet, remain consistent. Change things up with the content, try something new with the format, get creative, brainstorm new ideas, but be consistent and stick with it! 12
  13. 13. Are you ready? Are you ready to partake in the Entrepreneurial Era and the movement of a lifetime? Are you ready to make a difference and succeed? I know that because you are reading this, playing big, creating impact and generating and spreading wealth is what you are all about. So, I want you to make a commitment today to reach your potential this year in the New Economy. Then I want you to stop doing things the old way by systematically applying the new strategies for success. Create connections, collaborate, get creative, and stay consistent. On the following pages, you’ll gauge where you stand with the 4 Cs and create a plan on gaining strength around all of the 4 Cs. So, jump in get ready to illuminate! 13
  14. 14. The 4 Cs Checklist Gauge where you stand. Connection: Connection happens with all communications, from website copy, social media, marketing materials to face-toface communications. In order to connect fully, you must have these things in place. 1. Know your target market - who you are communicating to _______ 2. Clearly articulate the problem you are solving for your target market _______ 3. You engage your target market and listen to them ______ 4. You know where you target market exists ______ 5. You ask your target market regularly to give input on ways you can help them _________ 6. You communicate regularly with your target market using a variety of medium ________ 7. You meet face-to-face regularly with your target market 8. You’ve established a deep connection and trust within your target market 9. You have developed a symbiotic relationship with target market: you help them, they help you _____ Notes: 14
  15. 15. Collaboration: Collaborative thinking helps you to expand while competitive thinking limits you. In what ways are you collaborating and expanding business or organization? 1. You have a clear understanding of your “competition.” _____ 2. You have created a list of strengths and weaknesses of each of your competitors. _____ 3. You have met with your competitors and presented them with ideas on how to collaborate. ____ 4. You’ve identified potential collaborations outside of your direct industry/field. ______ 5. You spend time quarterly reviewing and revising your collaboration plan. ______ 6. You embody a collaborative spirit and invite people to collaborate with you. ______ Notes: 15
  16. 16. Creativity: Without creativity you stay stagnant. Creativity is the kindling for action which is the fire. Creativity keeps you interesting, it helps you come up with new, better solutions for your target market. 1. Establish a weekly 2 hour creativity practice. ______ 2. Review (at least quarterly) areas in your business that could use a good dose of creativity. ________ 3. Annual creativity retreat with full team, advisors, or board members. _______ 4. Block out 30 minutes daily to spend time generating ideas, doodling, and journaling to generate golden nuggets now and then. ______ 5. Get out in nature regularly (with or without team) to enhance creativity. _______ Notes: 16
  17. 17. Consistency: Consistency provides focus, discipline and what provides results. It also helps your target market to really see you and trust you. It’s beneficial to stick-with-it. 1. Have a plan for promoting and growing the business or organization that is feasible. ______ 2. The plan is written out and shared with key people, advisors, board members. ______ 3. The plan has been translated into a calendar and various goals and tasks have deadlines. _____ 4. I have an accountability system or team that I can turn to to keep me on track. ______ 5. I have a date to review my plan to analyze what is working and what isn’t. ______ 6. All the ways I promote and communicate have a consistent look and feel. ______ 7. The promotions and communications I send out has a consistent schedule. ______ 8. I am consistent in my actions and in accordance with my mission, I have not swayed. _______ Notes: 17
  18. 18. Action Planning Guide Now that you have gone through the checklist and determined what areas you need to pay attention, it’s time to create an action plan to get strong in all 4 Cs. The level at which you play and succeed depends on how well you have adopted the 4 Cs into your business or organization. Here is a quick guide to help you get started in getting strong in all 4 areas. Let’s begin. 1. Go back to each C on the checklist and see which ones you did not check off. 2. Under each one start creating a list of things you would need to do in order to check that item off of the list. For instance, let’s say in the first C you did not check off “ You engage your target market and listen to them.” Under this you might start listing things like the following ● Ask more questions or do polls on social media ● Go on fans pages and leave status updates and comment on their status updates ● Create a bi-annual focus group of customers and/or potential customers and listen to what they need. 3. Make a list similar to this under each item that you did not check off. Your lists may be small with just one item and sometimes several. That’s okay. 4. After you make your lists of to dos to check off your items on the checklist, decide which of the items are your biggest priorities? You can better determine priorities by examining your goals for the year. Which of these items will help you achieve your goals quickest? 5. Once you’ve determined the priorities, choose the top 3. If you have less than 3, that is fine, but no more than 3. list them here, along with their tasks that you created. Then write in a deadline for accomplishing each priority. Finally, work backwards from the deadline you assigned the priority to form deadlines for the tasks . What dates would you need to get those tasks done, in order to meet your deadline for accomplishing that priority? Write it all down on the next page. 18
  19. 19. 4 Cs Priority List Priority One: Deadline ________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ● ● ● ● Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 and more…. Priority Two: Deadline ________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ● ● ● ● Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 and more…. Priority Three: Deadline ________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ● ● ● ● Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 and more…. 19
  20. 20. It’s your time. You are ready to start trailblazing it! The Entrepreneurial Era is an amazing time. The new economy provides such an opportunity to prosper and to do it according to your own methods and desires. Adopting the entrepreneurial mindset is the first key. I plan to write a guide on what that is and how to start building those characteristics into your work and professional life, whether you are an entrepreneur or not. But, chances are if you read this manifesto, then you already embody the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. So, now that you know what you need to stop doing immediately and what you need to start doing right away...you have the strategies and the tools to get going. Light that path for others to follow. Be the trailblazer of this amazing movement and enjoy sustainable growth and immeasurable success. It’s your time. 20
  21. 21. About Rubina Cohen Rubina is the Founder and Principal of Firefly Strategies dedicated to helping businesses and organizations that embody the entrepreneurial spirit to create sustainable growth and success. Rubina and her team accomplish this by guiding and assisting clients in applying the New Strategies of Success and building an impeccable business, marketing and sales strategy and plan. Rubina loves to work with visionaries, leaders, executives, and trailblazers all blazing a path for others to benefit. The clients she works with are successful, passionate, driven, and absolutely crazy about creating an impact in this world. Want a full bio? Click here. Ready for more? Read on…. 21
  22. 22. More Support & Quicker Results. Do you want a more in-depth assessment of your strengths in the 4 Cs? Do you need further support in adopting and applying the 4 Cs? What about creating a more detailed and feasible action plan? Would accountability and expert guidance help take you to sustainable growth even faster? Schedule an initial consultation. It’s free and we can find out just what your needs are, then determine what program or service would best support you. Email freeconsult@fireflystrategies.com and set up that consultation. To learn more about all the services and programs offered by Firefly Strategies, Click Here. www.fireflystrategies.com www.rubinacohen.com credit: All photography in this document by Genevieve Russell storyportraitmedia.com 22

×